First, I have to apologize for not posting for a long time. The reason I have not been able to is because I started a new major project involving the development of a new product. I am not able to say what the product is, but if everything goes well, it will help alleviate some of the problems created by COVID-19. The project is consuming almost all of my time which prevented me from spending any time on this blog. However, I just found a lull, so I decided to post this article.
I have an important event I would like to share with readers. I have reached a milestone with my MCI. It’s been four years since I was first diagnosed with MCI. That means I have had MCI for five years or longer. This is significant since, depending on which statistics you listen to, 20 percent or more people who were diagnosed with MCI develop Alzheimer’s disease within five years. Fortunately, I am not anywhere near showing the signs of Alzheimer’s.
I do have problems with finding words, recalling names and some events, remembering a word or a number I just read, forgetting some things to do, etc. Of those, the most frustrating things is word recall. I know the word well and I can even taste it, yet it just does not come out. It’s the typical “tip of a tongue” phenomenon. Sometimes, it come back in a few minutes and sometimes in a few days when I don’t need it anymore. Fortunately, we all have developed the skill of word substitution. In most cases, it works. But, at times, we cannot come up with a substitution and end up in a sudden stop in front of a person who you are waiting for you to say something.
But, overall I am quite functional. In fact, even related to forgetting things, I am doing quite well. When I go grocery shopping, I don’t even use a list and still come home with everything I needed, maybe less one item occasionally. Of course, at times, I buy something which I already have and find three of them sitting in a fridge. But, that’s OK as long as we don’t end up with a fridge full of the same food. At least we are not going to run out of them. I store many food items in the basement, so I have to go down to pick some up often. I am quite impressed by myself how I can remember an item to bring up while picking up other items. When I do squats, I can count by tens much easier than I used. When I am working on the project, my mind is quite clear and I can plan and execute things quite effectively.
There are a few possible reasons for my relatively good condition. As I mentioned before, I do all sorts of things to keep myself mentally and physically active. I do or have tried most of the things listed under the Coping Strategy. Also, the new project seems to be helping rejuvenate my brain health. In order to design a new product, I had to get back to using engineering tools. The problem was that I don’t have those tools since I retired. So I had to do a lot of searches looking for free tools, try them to see if I can work with them, then learn tools that are quite different from the ones I used to use. As you know, learning new skills is considered very effective in keeping your cognitive capacity. I believe it is working for me.
So, the bottom line is that there is a lot of things we can do to stave off dementia and Alzheimers’. What’s really important, though, is that we have to be determined to fight MCI by doing everything we can. It is not easy. It takes a strong determination. However, it’s worth the effort. We don’t want to let MCI take its course. We can fight it and beat it. I hope I am showing myself to be the proof.